S. Carroll wins, 2-1, nears county title

2-OT victory over Liberty means Cavs can clinch crown with tie on Monday

Boys soccer

High Schools

October 18, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On a slick field where footing was at a premium last night, the South Carroll boys soccer team managed to withstand both rival Liberty and the rain, gaining a foothold in the race for the Carroll County title.

With his defender on the ground after slipping, Justin McMahon scored 23 seconds into double overtime to give the host Cavaliers a 2-1 win, putting them in control of their county destiny. If they beat or tie host Francis Scott Key on Monday, the county championship is theirs.

For that, they can, at least in part, thank Mother Nature.

"Liberty, by all rights, could've and should've won the game earlier," South Carroll coach Wes Haroldson said. "It could've gone either way, but it took a mishap. It took the weather to do it."

After Liberty came within inches of ending the game in the first overtime on rapid-fire shots off the crossbar by Brian Silva and Trevor Havey, South Carroll (6-4-1 overall, 4-0-1 county, 5-3 Central Maryland Conference) won it just seconds into the second sudden-death period in a most unusual way.

On a floater toward the goal, Liberty's defender backed up to play the ball off his chest, but his feet slipped out from under him, opening the right side of the field. McMahon, who had assisted Brian Silva on his team's first goal, got to the ball, saw goalie Matt Jolly out of position and put a shot into the back of the net.

"I was just taking my time," McMahon said. "I've missed so many wide that I said just said, `Take your time.' I saw [the goalie] come out, looked at the goal and hit it in."

For Liberty, it was another in a series of heartbreaking losses. It was the second straight double-overtime loss for the Lions (4-6, 2-2, 2-5), who have suffered five of their six defeats by one goal.

"Anytime you have a field like this, things like that can happen," Liberty coach Ed DeVincent said. "Unfortunately, it happened to us, and they took advantage of it."

After a back-and-forth first half on the wet field, South Carroll took the lead just before halftime.

The play started when forward McMahon chased down a ball in the corner and sent a line-drive cross to the middle of the box. Jenkins, perfectly positioned in front of the goal, then headed the ball in to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead with 6:34 left.

Liberty tied it with 14:47 left in regulation when freshman Taylor Van Brackle picked up a loose ball near midfield, raced toward the goal, waited for goalie Ryan Webb to commit and scored.

On a cold, wet night in Winfield, it was just one more play that didn't go as planned.

"You're not playing the team; you're playing the field," Haroldson said. "We'd watched these guys play and knew as much about them as we possibly could, and everything was out the window."

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